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MSNBC’s Once-A-Week Rachel Maddow Experiment Tanks: ‘Execs Have To Be Concerned’

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


MSNBC host Rachel Maddow recently returned from her nearly two-month hiatus to deliver some bad news to her die-hard liberal viewers.

Maddow revealed that she’s going to be taking more time off and only hosting her show one day per week.

Maddow only hosting “The Rachel Maddow Show” once a week has failed to attract viewers, particularly in the critical demographic.

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“Maddow, who makes roughly $30 million per year, announced that starting in May she would only host The Rachel Maddow Show once a week, on Mondays, so that she could focus on other projects. The coveted 9 p.m. ET timeslot that she’s long occupied now airs MSNBC Prime for the remainder of the week, with a rotating group of hosts at the helm,” Fox News reported.

During a segment on her show last month, the host announced that starting in May, she will only host her show on the network once a week while she continues to work on “other projects.”

Since then, the ratings are abysmal.

Fox News reported:

Since “MSNBC Prime” debuted on May 3, it has averaged 1.2 million viewers, shedding 33% of the 1.7 million that Maddow pulled in from the beginning of the year through her first once-a-week edition.

Things are even worse among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54, as “MSNBC Prime” has attracted only 114,000 average nightly viewers among the critical category for a 47% decline from the 214,000 that Maddow averaged through May 2.

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By comparison, Fox News’ 9 p.m. ET timeslot competition, “Hannity,” has crushed “MSNBC Prime” by 252% among the key demo since MSNBC’s new program premiered.

This week’s edition of Maddow’s now-weekly show averaged only 160,000 viewers among the key demo on May 23. The alarmingly low turnout among viewers coveted by advertisers was down 30% compared to her May 16 episode and 42% compared to the May 9 edition.

Media critic Jeffrey McCall believes MSNBC executives are very worried about Maddow only hosting the show once a week and how the ratings have fallen off a cliff.

“MSNBC execs have to be concerned by this weak primetime showing. Maddow’s show has for a long time been a tent pole for MSNBC’s entire evening, delivering audiences for the 9 p.m. hour, but also boosting viewership in the hours before and after,” McCall told Fox News.

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“With Trump out of office for almost a year and a half now, it is hard to generate ratings by raging about Trump. Further, with the multiple policy problems of the Biden administration, it is difficult to generate a left-leaning audience to watch the daily parade of bad news about inflation, crime, international turmoil, and so on, even when there is a left of center spin on those topics,” McCall said. “Those left-leaning viewers are choosing to just avoid news programming these days, even in venues that are sympathetic to the Biden administration.”

“Sensible viewers see more practical problems right in front of them every day in gas prices, inflation, sinking retirement accounts, baby formula shortages, and the list goes on,” McCall added.

Maddow announced back in February that she would be taking a hiatus.

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“I’m going to take a little bit of time off from this show to go help with the movie. And also to work on a few other things that I have cooking with NBC right now, including a new podcast,” Maddow said.

“So just like late-night hosts sometimes go on hiatus in their shows, I’m going to go on hiatus for a little bit here from this show so I can work on some of those other projects,” she added. “In addition to the movie, the Bag-Man movie, and the podcast that I’m working on, the paperback of the Bag Man book is also coming out in just a few weeks, it’s coming out in April, and there’s an adaptation of a different book that I want to try to make for TV as well that I’ve just started working on. There’s all this stuff I’ve been working on that I want to… work some more on.”

Interestingly enough, MSNBC just hired former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

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